Consider this a loose info dump for anything happening in or around Owensboro.
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So I’ve been down the rabbit hole
, trying to chase every off-the-cuff reference, stray allegory, allusion, comparison, and tangent. I’m going to need you to bear (hug) with me for a bit because I think I’ve stumbled on some truly insane parallels between this show and the myriad of references it makes and it will take a lot of text to justify to you that I'm not crazy (or that I am, but at least I do my research).
This is a show that employs a ton of intertextuality and what the poet T.S. Eliot (someone quoted frequently throughout the series) calls “the mythic method”: essentially using historical, literary, and mythological allusions to draw parallels between characters on the show and characters throughout history (real and imagined).
This method helps the audience to build both conscious and unconscious associations with each of the characters and, ultimately, underscores the Roys’ (and humanity’s) damning commitment to making the same mistakes over and over again. The show seems to draw a lot from Greek mythology, Arthurian legend, biblical parables, Shakespearean tragedy, and modernist poetry (among many other things).
These networks of symbolism span from the earliest recorded history to modern celebrity culture and yet they reveal frighteningly unchanged elements in the stories they tell. The parallels of these references throughout the show serve to highlight the cyclical (the illusion of progress) and deterministic (the illusion of free will) nature of existence.
While I will be dipping in and out of the existing references, I want to call particular attention to the poetry of the aforementioned T.S. Eliot (who champions the mythic method) and John Berryman’s poem Dream Song 29
because I believe much of their work has served as a foundation for characters.
In the show, Frank makes mention of his poem “The Long Song Of J Alfred Prufrock” more than once. Outside of the show, Matthew McFayden (the actor who plays Tom) references the same poem to describe his character. Jeremy Strong (the actor who plays Kendall) says Eliot’s work The Four Quartets
is a huge inspiration to his acting and character. A line from this particular work did strike me as being quite on the nose, which is why I continued to comb the poem for more (which it does deliver on):
"In my beginning is my end. In succession Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended, Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass. Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires, Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth Which is already flesh, fur and faeces, Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf."
This will probably be a monster of a post, so I will attempt to break down the following sections between poetic parallels, visual and dialogic symbolism of eternal recurrence, and an exploration of the historical and mythological allusions. Ultimately, I believe all of these clues point to the overwhelming conclusion that we will end where we began, in some way or another. Circles & Cycles: Endless Recurrence & The Futility Of Progress
The show toys a lot with the philosophical concept of eternal recurrence, which postulates that “time repeats itself in an infinite loop, and that exactly the same events will continue to occur in exactly the same way, over and over again, for eternity.”
These eternal loops are symbolized visually with mirrors, water, fractal reflections; in the “uh-huh” and “mhmms” of repeated, near-palindromic dialogue; and in the show events that echo and repeat: in-air death scares, asynchronous business deals, family betrayal, weddings, retreats, implosions, family reunions, trauma bonding, baptism, funerals, etc.
In this understanding of time, there is no linear progress — or even progress at all. Time is cyclical. People are cyclical. As are the events that transpire. This is particularly interesting in a show like Succession whose title alone implies the phrase “line of succession.” Viewers would expect to see what comes next — who comes next — but as Logan himself yells, “Nothing is a line. Everything is moving all the time.”
Logan consistently evokes the circle shape in his speech, “Put a circle around him” he tells Shiv. “We’ve been circling for an hour, tell them we’re out of gas,” he complains in a moment of grim foreshadowing on his plane. “Crawl in a circle and close your eyes,” he shouts during the game of Boar on the Floor.
And he is the bright, burning nebulous center of this circle. He’s described as “carr[ying] his gravity. He's not a man, he's a f*cking planet.” And the people around him are described like satellites and moons. Characters exist in his orbit. And every complete orbit (or “revolution”) leaves characters in exactly the same place. There are motions, there is the illusion of progress, but the result is the same. Eliot again:
“every attempt Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure”
With this understanding, the show may just end where it begins. Not only in “nothing” happening, but in repeating the same events ad infinitum
: A kid tries to take over the family business, they try to align with their siblings, they eventually backstab their siblings, they end out in the cold, and then they reunite, swear not to do it again, until it all repeats.
As most of us are aware, the show has made very direct mention of the John Berryman poem Dream Song 29
. The names of the past three season finales (as well as the name of the upcoming fourth) are all direct excerpts from the poem, which deals with grief and sadness and the guilt of killing someone when you can’t even confirm there’s been someone killed at all.
Berryman consistently wrote about the guilt and grief he experienced from his father’s suicide. Berryman himself would eventually end up taking his own life, which on its own is a brutal reminder of the cycles of trauma. It also doesn’t feel insignificant that Berryman jumped off a bridge.
What’s really interesting is how each subsequent finale is named for a line that comes earlier and earlier in the poem. It also toys with this concept that things come full circle and end where they begin. This echoes Eliot’s essential thesis of the poem:
“What we call the beginning is often the end And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
But while the speaker of the poem comes to realize he has not murdered “nobody” by the poem’s last line; Kendall, moving through the poem backward, must reckon with the idea that he may have killed somebody even if they were a “nobody.” And while we may encounter this as a moment in which Kendall is genuinely despairing over his season 1 inadvertent murder, I believe we are far more likely to see Kendall embrace this moment.
We see "nobody" and "no one mentioned" a lot when it comes to Logan, who believes most people are "fungible as f*ck," and "pygmies" while he's "1,000 feet tall." When Kendall is involved in the accident, we see him echo "NRPI" or no real person involved.
The reason Kendall couldn’t live up to his father’s expectations is that he couldn’t be the killer his father needed him to be (even if his morality or basis of being a good person is off). This retroactive movement through the poem could be Kendall realizing he is, in fact, the killer his father always needed him to be, enabling him to take the necessary steps of seizing the crown on his own. Allegories & Allusions: Mythic Comparisons & Determinism
It’s Shakespearean, like Roman says, “I kill Kendall, get crowned king, like we’re in f*cking Hamlet or something.” But it’s not just Hamlet
, it’s King Lear, King Richard III
. And it’s not just Shakespeare, it’s Oedipus Rex
, The Odyssey
, The Waste Land
, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
, Cronus devouring his children, Romulus killing Remus, Noah cursing his child for looking upon him naked.
The concept of the monomyth was popularized in "The Hero With 1000 Faces" and discusses throughout history, throughout different times and places, different cultures, different religions, different people have developed stories with relatively similar fundamental elements. The show is rife with allusions of stories that follow that same thread. Logan is Cronus who is King Lear who is Romulus who is who is. This is another form of endless recurrence: the inability to break the cycle. Or, in a very Hamlet reference, "maybe the poison drips through."
The themes of patricide, fratricide, and incest in particular are rampant. Rhea (like Rhea Jarell) in Greek mythology is both sister and consort to Cronus. Both are part of the first generation of aptly named Titan gods. Cronus overthrew his father Uranus and learns his children are fated to overthrow him. So he eats them as soon as they are born. Logan does refer to people as food a surprising amount throughout the show, varying from red meat to vegetables. He outright calls for blood sacrifice, which evokes the language of the gods.
Logan is referenced specifically as one of the last real American titans in his obituaries and eulogies. The language around him is frequently god-like. He's known as "the big man" or even "the big man upstairs." Tom tells Greg to "be his representative here on earth"; Roman asks the audience, "who is going to climb Mt. Olympus and be the next Dr. Zeus?" And that's where the myth gets interesting.
The only child not to be eaten is Zeus, who does end up killing his father and was surprisingly interested in marrying his mother. We're familiar with this plot formula through a different archetype: the Oedipus Complex, which we see referenced in the show with “Oedipus Roy,” “Oedipussy,” and “stabbing my eyes out.” The same story is repeated again in Hamlet with brother killing and brother and son yelling at his mother about her milky breasts (something Roman does to Shiv more than once). In the show when Logan says to Roman, “You may want to f*ck your mother but I don’t.” We know none of these stories end well. As Connor muses, “It’s not right to kill one’s father; history teaches us that.”
In the story of Romulus and Remus (whose mother’s name is also Rhea), the two brothers were initially chased out of their city as potential threats to the King (yet again). They were left by the river to die and were saved by the river god (important). After successfully overthrowing the kingdom that left them for dead, they agree to found a new city. They ultimately disagreed on which hill to found it and decided to have a bird-watching competition to see who could see the most omens indicating they had divine approval for the hill. Remus says he saw 6 auspicious birds but Romulus claims to see 12. Romulus kills Remus over this.
It should remind you of Logan visiting his childhood home with Ewan: “I saw a mistle thrush at the bandstand,” and the log book he kept as a child of birds he “saw” that Ewan would cross out if he didn’t believe him. It may also echo a part of The Four Quartets
, “Other echoes/ Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?/ Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,/ Round the corner. Through the first gate,/ Into our first world, shall we follow/ The deception of the thrush?"
There is much to be said about the themes of warring brothers. Also the themes of fathers worried their children would one day overthrow them who take action to thwart or murder their children, which inadvertently sets into motion the very outcome they fear. It happens over and over again in stories old and new. As Panhandle Pete says, “I push him, he pushes me, and around and around we go.” Or as Eliot puts it, “that the wheel may turn and still / Be forever still.”
Much of these works touch on a sort of determinism, or the slow crushing reality that every action you take — even if that action is an attempt to thwart your fate — will ultimately lead to the same inevitable ending. This is the illusion of free will on top of the illusion of progress. And Logan, in fearing his children would usurp him (and also disparaging his children for not being able to), set into motion his own death and his own messy succession.
It’s also a reminder that the greatest men in life are all the same when laid to rest:
"O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark, The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant, The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters, The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers, Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees, Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark…" Structure & Symbolism: Water As Rebirth & Destruction
The show has very much been structured around Kendall, and we watch him move through bodies of water with what feels like different symbolism each time. Is he drowning, is he reborn? We witness Kendall at his lowest point face down in a pool and at one of his highest, splashing into the Pacific ocean. We watch a man drown. We watch Logan beg Kendall for water as they walk through Adrien Brody’s maze. We watch Roman clamor for water at the funeral when he needs to calm down. Poetry has long played with this life and death dynamic in water, like the sailors dying of thirst in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
“Water, water, every where,. And all the boards did shrink;. Water, water, every where,. Nor any drop to drink. The very deep did rot: O Christ!”
This sub has noted Kendall’s connection to water, which has been represented over and over visually. But once you realize every metaphor, analogy, and simile he uses is water-based, you can’t unhear it. He calls his father “a tsunami of corruption” and describes things “as more precious than water”; he calls deals “choppy” and “dead in the water,” and asks to “help steady the ship”; he offers to “row back” on business deals, says timing is “high tide,” and that he has “bigger fish to fry.”
Logan is apt to use similar water symbolism, even telling Shiv that she’s marrying a man “fathoms” beneath her. As Rhea tells him, fearful of his own monstrosity, “I can’t see the bottom of the pool. I don’t know if you care about anything. It scares me.” ATN’s major scandal was “death cruises.” Even his operating nemesis is called “Sandy.”
In fact, there is mention of all elements and seasons — in particular, fire from Shiv, air from Roman, and earth from Connor. T.S. Eliot’s The Four Quartets
confront these same themes and share some surprising similarities with show scene locations, dialogue, and plot points.
That’s because Succession
is an allegory for the micro and the macro: the rise and fall of families, civilizations, monarchies, dynasties, and empires. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, the cycles rinse and repeat. Eliot modeled the four quartets on the 4 elements and the 4 seasons. And you can see even in Succession a similar manifestation of 4 elements. And, well, 4 seasons of the show. (And what occurs after 4 seasons? A full revolution around the sun, bringing you to where you began.)
Water seems to be at the root of it all. Even Ewan’s eulogy meditates on his and Logan’s journey on a boat. Even their abusive uncle is named Noah. In the show, we watch our nobody die by water, we watch our main character nearly die by water, and then we watch him revive in the ocean. As Kendall and his father wind their way through Adrien Brody’s circuitous Long Island home, Kendall remarks, “I think this leads to the ocean.” Because every path leads to the sea in some way or another.
The overarching narration from T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land
is the Arthurian Legend of The Fisher King. This story is told a million different ways with a million different outcomes, but always boils down to an injured or maimed monarch ruling over a dying land. Or as Ewan refers to his "empire of shit": “He’s built a wasteland and called it an empire.”
He’s looking for someone, anyone, to heal him, rescue the kingdom, and ensure the dynasty survives. This is the myth of the holy grail, which, in this show, can be seen as the throne: The original stories of the holy grail were not Christian/religious but they do employ a lot of the same mythmaking from earlier religions and mythologies to tell their stories and thus construct their new realties. As Eliot says in The Four Quartets
"The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, Wherein, if we do well, we shall Die of the absolute paternal care That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere."
I believe Kendall (and the other children) represent the grail knights who try to save the king. (On the same level they stand in for the gods, the elements, or anything at all). When Christianity became more popular, these myths adapted to Christian overtones, but they still had the Celtic and pagan myths at their core: the grail becomes the chalice from the last supper.
That’s why Kendall’s easy comparisons of himself to Jesus feel less blasphemous than revelatory. Jesus is another hero archetype in the show’s mythology. He is willing to sacrifice himself, which Kendall must do in order to become the successor his father wanted. As he says, "this is a culmination of my life's journey to be crucified for you morons."
(It’s worth noting: In some legends, the knight saves the king; in others, he inadvertently destroys him. We know Logan dies, but it does feel less likely that Waystar Royco survives.) Drowning is a constant feature of Eliot's poems, but so is baptism and renewed life. It is difficult to determine the meaning of water in either instance, except that it doesn't discriminate as a life or death bringer, which is both beautiful and terrifying. Parallels & Predictions: Piecing The Plot & Poetry Together
To repeat again, as this show is wont to do: “Crawl in a circle and close your eyes!” Logan Roy shouts during a game of Boar On A Floor. It’s an allegory, like many games on the series, and proudly says the quiet part out loud: Logan always wins. Here’s a little boar on the floor reference in The Four Quartets:
"We move above the moving tree In light upon the figured leaf And hear upon the sodden floor Below, the boarhound and the boar Pursue their pattern as before But reconciled among the stars."
We’ve seen the L.O.G.A.N. system at work many times and with many people. He dangles a carrot, a morsel of love, as each character attempts to play the game over and over while expecting different results. They are doomed to crawl in that circle, to play that blind game, as Logan angrily shouts, “It’s fun!” And this game doesn't end in death. The children still ask. "What would dad do?"
Games on Succession (which are a consistent refrain), it turns out, are rarely fun and are often designed to humiliate or inflict pain. The same goes when characters say “I’m just kidding” after an eviscerating remark. Logan thinks life is a game, and as he says, games should be taken seriously. And because Logan explicitly makes the rules, there is no winning, just trudging around the board, passing Go, and collecting $200. The games are essentially Sisyphean tasks that the kids wouldn’t be able to win even if they were actually competent enough to run the company. And yet they keep rolling the boulder. It’s endless. The repetition. It ends where it begins.
"Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, Every poem an epitaph. And any action Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start. We die with the dying: See, they depart, and we go with them. We are born with the dead: See, they return, and bring us with them. The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree Are of equal duration. A people without history Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern Of timeless moments."
Please also note the use of “the rose” and “the yew tree,” which are the names of Logan’s siblings Rose and Ewan, which derives from yew-tree. Other important name comparisons include Kendall’s association to spring/river valley; Siobhan’s nickname either a knife (Shiv) or Pinky (a variation of the name Rose); Roman’s connection to Romulus/Corialanus; Tom’s name meaning “twin” because there was already someone named Judas in the bible HELLO; Logan’s name meaning little hollow, which recalls another Eliot poem, The Hollow Men
We know this show is a game, one that isn't fun at all, and one whose rules Logan made up. Even when there's a winner, there's no winner. So it's almost futile to play at all. That said, it’s impossible to make sense of any of it all without the ending — to confirm this ball has been rolling toward an inevitable conclusion, but given the show’s ending has probably occurred already, here are my thoughts:
This may feel a bit on the nose given we’ve already seen this almost happen to “the Kurt Cobain of floaties,” but it would certainly be poetic. This could be sad (launched from a bridge); empowering (a la The Awakening
); or metaphorical (a drug overdose). At some point Kendall says, "If dad didn’t need me right now I wouldn’t know what I would be for." The kids exist with Logan as their sun; they are moons, satellites, in orbit. And when their sun dies out, they repeat the motions in the cold, slowly losing their patterns and motions. The term is science is a rogue planet and the following lines from the poem remind me of Kendall and his broken, hollow stare.
“It would be the same at the end of the journey, If you came at night like a broken king, If you came by day not knowing what you came for, It would be the same, when you leave the rough road And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facade And the tombstone. And what you thought you came for Is only a shell, a husk of meaning From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled If at all. Either you had no purpose Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured And is altered in fulfilment.”
- Kendall is king of the ashes
Any victory feels like it will be a Pyrrhic victory regardless when you've had to systematically take down everyone you love to achieve it. The same lines above can echo here "the purpose is beyond the end you figured/And is altered in fulfilment." A hollow victory. The Fisher King question Logan poses is, "Who can replace me?" Logan wanted each of his children to display the killer instinct. Kendall’s backwards journey through Dreamsong 29
may very well see him realize he is, in fact, the killer his dad always wanted — with open eyes. This will probably involve taking down his siblings. In this version, winning is a lot like losing, which feels very Succession
These Shakespearean histories and tragedies rarely end well for existing houses. With Richard III
(the-multiple-lineage-ending war of the roses) and Hamlet
(the-whole-house-dies-but-a-norwegian-king-swoops-in-to-take-it-all dynastic struggle) references abound. We may just see a new house rise up and rinse and repeat. This would probably also occur if the kids take each other down and leave it open for another party. We saw last season that Roman thought he had an in with Mattson until it didn’t serve Mattson anymore. I see the same thing happening between Roman and Mencken. This puts Mencken and Mattson in a position to take over, which may make Mattson win it or…
When Mattson is introduced, he is referenced as a trickster. Generally, in mythology, this character is quite intelligent or in possession of secret knowledge, and he uses it for trickery and commandeering situations. (Is that blood thing real???). Hamlet
concludes with every major character killing the other with their own tragic flaws until a third party Scandinavian comes in to take the crown with no necessary action or bloodshed at all. We already know he's unscrupulous; what is his end game? It reminds me of one of his early lines to Roman, which would be an eerie foreshadowing:
“Success doesn’t really interest me anymore, it’s too easy. Analysis + capital + execution. Fucking, anyone can do that. But failure, that’s a secret. Just as much failure as possible as fast as possible, burn that shit out, that’s interesting.”
We’ve seen it happen before (which is why it should happen again). We’ve also seen Tom remove the thin veneer of his ambitions to the point where he almost feels like Richard III. He has played the fool, which is Shakespearean estimation, is often equivalent to the trickster. This would be a fun and distorted parallel to Shiv offering this job to him for Logan to offer it to her. This would probably happen in conjunction with Mattson winning. As I mentioned earlier, the name Tom means “twin” and the apostle Tom was only called as such because there were already one too many “Judas” in the mix. He's also from Minnesota (the twin cities!), so this is becoming very real, you know???
While we know Tom has betrayed Shiv before, we also know Greg betrayed Shiv and Tom when he spoke to Geri in the first season about Tom having a press conference on cruises. He leads Tom to believe Shiv has betrayed him, getting one over on both of them. There may also be something with the Rule of 3 and being betrayed 3 times that feels biblical. The show also makes TONS of references to holding on to blackmail for opportune moments. Will we see something like this?
I’m not a big believer that Greg will fail so far upwards that he will win (this would feel like a betrayal in its own right), but do I believe there’s a world where Greg gets himself on a piece of paper with a question mark. Maybe???
This is my personal hope because I want the Tom and Jerry allusion to be real more than any other I put together (we love a good cat and mouse game). If Mattson wins, he needs a US CEO. Geri has collected a massive amount of dirt on everyone. And to call back to season 1’s interim CEO discussions, Shiv says, “I don’t like Geri. But I don’t hate Geri either.” It would feel particularly good given how much time and effort Logan spent clarifying Geri would be terrible at the position. Especially as Logan disparaging someone generally means he’s afraid of what they can do.
I’ll end at the ending. Or conclude where Eliot did on The Four Quartets:
"We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well When the tongues of flames are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one."
PS. Given ‘Pinky’ is another name for ‘Rose’ does this mean Shiv wins??? JK let’s just watch the show tonight and laugh at our predictions in the morning.
My brother died in a car accident a week ago and I went and stayed a week at my parents with our daughter (1) so i could help plan the funeral while my husband stayed home and worked. He came for the funeral and had to leave that afternoon. He’s been as supportive as he can before the funeral. Me, my daughter, and sister (21) came back home to my house the night after the funeral because my sister didn’t want to be alone. After I got in bed last night, I said goodnight to my husband and he mumbled something that I couldn’t understand and he snipped at me saying that he said goodnight. I was annoyed at that point and said nothing else. And he said “I love you” and I said it back and he just sighed and said “why do I always have to say it first?” I got so angry and just snapped. I asked him why did he have to pick a fight with me right now, and he just turned over and went to sleep. I have so much grief with losing my brother, and I had to pick up the pieces of my parents and do everything. I created the obituary, I had to take clothes for them to put my brother in for the funeral, I had to pick up his belongings form the funeral home they sent. I haven’t been able to have a single moment alone to process my own grief. For my husband to obviously think I’m going to snap back into our life of normalcy just makes me so angry. I have felt no compassion from him since I’ve come back home. I’m almost considering divorce. Advice?
The divorce comment seems extreme, I know. It’s just that this isn’t the first time he’s snapped or came at me while I’ve already been upset about something. It just feels like he’s lacking compassion. Do I truly want to divorce him? Of course not. I just want him to have some compassion. I have had to be strong for everyone this past week, and I just really needed his support and love. Not for him to already kick me while I’m down.
I am the daughter of Ralph and his second wife, Carolyn. My brother and I grew up in the Hurricane\Winfield area. My dad Ralph was the CFO to a major hospital chain in Charleston, WV for many years. My mother was a teacher. My sibling and I grew up in Hurricane and Winfield West Virginia.
Ralph was moved around during his formative years, being the only son of Ralph Bowles, Sr, and Geraldine Fizer, who were a military/navy family. Ralph grew up from California to New Port News Virginia, places where his father was stationed.
My father Ralph and my mother met while attending classes at Marshall University in the 1970's and married after a long courtship. They were married ten years but were together for much longer.
Ralph was an avid Chicago Bears fan throughout his adult life. He enjoyed learning about WWII and was a voracious reader of all things Stephen King. He enjoyed horror films, especially black and white horror films.
Unfortunately, this is where the account of Ralph's life gets blurry for some people, and would be unless you were there and lived it, as my sibling and I did.
Ralph was married three times and my mother was his second wife. He and my mother had two children together and his co-workers remember pictures of me on his desk at work.
It was around this time that Ralph met his third wife, who was 11 years his junior, as she was working as a cashier at Hecks in Teays Valley. Hecks no longer exists, just as Hills no longer exists. Their relationship started prior to his marriage to my mother ending, according to my paternal grandmother, who told me this information when I was 12.
By all accounts of his third family, he was a beloved father and husband who helped his inlaws with a variety of tasks, even going so far as doing their accounting homework for them. During this time in his life, he enjoyed keeping his grass short and green and couldn't abide a single weed in his yard. He owned a variety of dogs, including a shih tzu, a pug, a toy poodle, a maltese, a labrador retriever, and several bulldogs, his favorite bulldog being named Daisy.
My sibling and I were at our father's house on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and at least one weekend a month. When I was about 12, Ralph and his third wife had a baby girl. My grandmother, by that time, had taken a parental role for me and my sibling with Ralph's second wife, due to my parents' busy lives.
It was after the birth of his last child in the mid 90's that things started falling apart between my father and his second family. Accounts seem to differ but it was around this time that my father and his third wife moved the belongings of me and my sibling to the garage to make room for his third child. It was at this time that my relationship with my father effectively ended. It was also around this time that my paternal grandmother thought I deserved the truth of my family.
The reason for this information is that my sibling and I, as well as multiple others, were conveniently left out of his obituary for reasons I don't completely understand. Ralph was proceeded in death by his mother and father and nephew, and is survived by his first, second, and third wife and their children, as well as in-laws and cousins.
Multiple people have reached out and asked why we omitted, those who remember me and my sibling are just as confused as we are. There are two reasons why I think we were omitted : 1) he's worried we are going to try to come for his money. I assure you that neither of us are interested in that. 2) he has some kind of desire to pretend that my sibling and I don't exist. We do and we have pictures and memories that prove we were there.
My sibling and I are both successful people with careers and families of our own and we have not in any way brought shame upon his name or family other than expressing desire for our truth to be known and the truth of what happened to our family to be known. The people who have chosen to exclude us have done so our whole lives and it is our opinion that this is the last attempt to push us to the side.
Rest in peace, Ralph. We do remember you.
For some context, we had an amazing but long distance relationship up until last summer when something traumatic happened at his work and he was just never the same. He was always a workaholic, and admitted in the past he would throw himself into work to distract himself, but he was working on it. We were communicating less and less, and since we're long distance, there was really nothing I could do but hope he would respond.
Christmas was the last I heard from him. I had mentioned taking a break because at that point, we hadn't spoken on the phone (only texted) for two months, he had forgotten my birthday and anniversary, and he was very apologetic but it was clear he was just throwing himself into work again. He admitted to frequently turning off his phone and just burying his head in the sand instead of confronting what he was doing.
I tried to reach out in various ways over the past 5 months, and sometimes he'd read my messages, but never reply. Recently, he's started deleting me or blocking me on socials. I've been losing my mind with why. I tried contacting people he knew, I've tried everything. Trust me.
Well it finally worked. I found the email of his boss of this organization he volunteers for (it's not his main job, just one of them). I thought of her because they are very close, and she knows who I am. I asked her to keep the email between us and just wondering how he was, but obviously it didn't and this morning I got the first message from him in 5 months.
"I am alive I've just come off a lot of my socials but please I get you're concerned but my work is my work and I don't mix it with my personal life, please respect that."
I know what this looks like - I look insane contacting his work like that. I would NEVER do that if I wasn't desperate and didn't know that he was close to his boss and she knew of our situation. But I was filled with so much anger at his response.
For one, he didn't just come off a lot of his socials, he disappeared off the face of the earth for 5 months without a word to anyone and no way to contact him. I was looking up obituaries to see if he was dead. I also know his snapscore was going up all while he was ignoring me, and his instagram profile picture was taken within the last 5 months which he has me blocked on. That's not coming off socials, that's coming off me.
Next, "I get you're concerned," but do you? How many nights I stayed up screaming because my boyfriend of a year and a half, who I was making marriage plans with, planning my future around, was acting like I didn't exist? How I've been on and off drugs, pills, and am now entering a rehab program because of?
I find it extremely ironic that the ONE thing that got him to reply was work... Of course it was. Work is his one true love, after all. I can scream and cry and break down, but only when his work is threatened does he care. He disrespected me for years taking late night calls, picking up shifts when he promised to spend time with me, then being too tired when he got home to even text me. Date nights that ended early because his boss had to vent, and I'd just sit there quietly waiting for him to finish, just for him to hang up hours later saying he was exhausted and wanted to sleep. He says he doesn't mix his personal and work life, but that's not true at all. It's all he ever did. And I'm so angry that he dare say that to me knowing that it was his work that ruined us.
Five months of the worst hell I've ever experienced. And he asks for me to respect his work. His work that ruined his life and mine. I feel sick.